When I was looking for good shoes for running, I stumbled upon training shoes, which had me wonder: What was the difference between running shoes vs training shoes? Or was there even a difference at all?
I considered interchanging them now and then for my runs, but I didn’t know their main purpose. That’s why I decided to do the research and figure out what made them so different (besides the name!) and which was better. After doing research and a few test runs, it’s surprising learning and feeling the differences!
So if you’re wondering what to get for your running needs, read on!
What Are Running Shoes?
Before anything else: let’s first learn about running shoes! As the name suggests, these are shoes built for running, designed for those heel-to-toe movements. Running shoes do NOT allow multi-directional movement, having a more flexible sole and intricate treads made for high-impact and long periods of exercises.
Its different design is what makes it easier to run faster and/or longer distances without feeling tired easily. Besides this, running shoes are also made with more modern and advanced technologies to improve the RUNNING experience, improving their midsole and outsoles as you go.
Running Shoes Main Features
One of its primary features is the running shoes’ plush cushioning, which absorb shock as you run. The soles would absorb impact well, especially if you’re heavier and/or run on hard surfaces.
So basically, they encourage better heel-to-toe movement with its thick heels and high heel drop. Some also offer arched sole for better support, especially if you’re suffering from any conditions. Its thinner treads also encourage a more natural and pain-free running movement. These are its primary features:
- More cushioning
- Big heel drop
- Lightweight features
- Less traction
When to Wear Running Shoes
You would only use running shoes for activities related to runs. This is because its design facilitates running movements, protecting your feet while cushioning and supporting it. You can use these shoes when running on different surfaces, such as the treadmill, road, trail, or track.
Furthermore, there are different types of running shoes to choose from based on your feet’s needs, as well as where you choose to run. You can also use it as an alternative to other shoes related to walking or when standing on your feet all day (for work).
What Are Training Shoes?
What about training shoes, what makes them any different? These types of shoes are the most versatile athletic shoes available today, also known as cross-training shoes!
Compared to the running shoe, these allow lateral movements, making it optimal for certain physical activities, exercises, and sports. Many people use it for aerobics, kickboxing, weightlifting, and other activities which require multi-directional movements.
These allow a various range of movements, whether simple to complex. That way, you can pull off different exercises that require breaking, cutting, stopping, jumping, changing directions quickly, and more! That’s why it’s the optimal workout shoe.
This shoe may also be used for walks and runs because of its flat sole, which increases flexibility. It also has lateral sides for more support and stability, especially since it has lighter treads like running shoes.
BUT, they are heavier, so you can’t use these for regular running.
Training Shoes Main Features
Because training shoes provide a lot of support for various movements and exercises, it differs in terms of features.
They have wider and flatter soles for more stability for your feet. It also has more side support for lateral movements, also with a lower heel and drop, making it easier to squat and stand, optimal for weightlifting.
These shoes also offer more traction compared to running shoes, as you’ll require a better grip when shifting weights and movements suddenly.
As for its weight, it varies. But typically, training shoes are much heavier than running shoes, which is what adds to its stability and support. It has the following features:
- More side support
- Flatter and wider sole
- More traction and grip
- Heavier weight features
When to Wear Training Shoes
I highly recommend that you only use training shoes during your workouts at the gym. They are all-in-one gym shoes made for weightlifting, high-intensity workouts, strength training, or even agility training.
You MAY use it for training runs, but do NOT run extended distances on it. It’s good for warm-up runs or short distances only.
Running Shoes vs Training Shoes: Which Is Better?
So as you can see, both training vs running shoes have major differences in these factors:
- Overall weight
- Traction and grip
- Support and heel drop
- Cushioning and sole thickness
Running shoes offer better support for heel-to-toe movement with more cushioning and firmer soles. Training shoes are made for lateral, side-to-side movement for various activities, having less cushioning but more traction and stability for various exercises.
Both these shoe types are flexible but in different areas. Running shoes are more flexible in the midsole but with a firmer sole for the heel-to-toe movement. As for training shoes, they have more flexibility in the entire sole, which has you lift off in whatever direction you need to with ease.
What’s Better For You?
So, which one’s better? There isn’t one better over the other as it depends on where you’ll use it in!
If you plan on using the shoes strictly for running, walks, and/or standing all day for work/exercise, then running shoes are made best for you. These ensure that your feet are supported and less tired as you run longer distances and/or faster speeds.
However, if you’re the type who needs to workout besides running, you may want to consider getting training shoes. If you lift heavily and do other sports or exercises, these are made best to prevent injuries and help with your form.
Do note that you can use training shoes for runs as well, though they should only be used for short distances or less intense runs. You can also use it for walking, but not long distances. Again, training shoes are best for different exercises and movements.
If you’re the type who does both intense runs and other activities like strength or agility training, I highly recommend you get both. While it’s a bit pricier, it has you stay safe and keeps your feet in the healthier condition in the long run.
Why You Need the Right Shoes
Wearing the wrong shoes is detrimental not only to your exercise or training but your body as well! It can lead to discomfort, injuries, or lowered performance.
Because of that, you need to make sure you evaluate what exercises you do and choose the shoes made for it. Also, consider the type of running or training shoes you need, its size and fit, the material, and durability, among others.
Fortunately, this website has many purchasing guides on the right shoes and brands based on what you need!
If you want to learn more about the major differences between running vs training shoes, check out this helpful video:
Wrapping It Up
While a lot of people are confused about what running shoes vs training shoes are, one thing’s for certain: You do NOT interchange them. They each have their different purpose and knowing what you need based on how you exercise will help. Now the next step is learning what the best running and training shoes are!
I hope my article on running shoes vs training shoes helped you out. So don’t wait any longer and start your search for the quality running or training shoes now.
If you have any questions or want to share your own experiences on using running or training shoes, then comment below. Your thoughts are much appreciated!